Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yesterday, Lowlife, Today, Expensivo!

I had pretty much gotten thoroughly disgusted with Vegas and vowed never again to go down to the strip. Although that might be a slight exaggeration, I was getting tired of going down there. It seemed that every time I went down, I'd walk for an entire afternoon in rather sleazy areas, looking at miles of slot machines. I basically arrived at the conclusion, "If you've seen one casino, you've seen them all." True, every casino is way over the top, but still, miles of slot machines, gaming tables, and drive-through wedding chapels are still miles of slot machines, gaming tables, and drive-through wedding chapels, no matter what the architecture looks like.

I still had one last stop to make down in the heart of Sin City -- the expensive casinos. For some reason, every time I went down for the purpose of being a tourist, I missed the really expensive casinos. Today, I made it a point to see them and was really, really impressed.

I parked at Cesar's Palace, a casino that's probably more impressive than Rome ever was. After walking through the casino, I got the impression it was yet another expanse of slot machines, so I headed next door to the Bellagio.

Wow... Talk about impressive. It doesn't look like much here in the picture, but in person, it's truly amazing. They didn't spare any expense.

This casino is the home of the famous fountains:

(You don't have to watch the whole thing... 3:30 is a little more interesting. If you're standing in the front-center like I was, the tall jets at 4:00 look like they go as high as the casino in the background.)

I saw it in the day:

This fountain is absolutely enormous. You could easily fit a smaller casino in the swimming pool that contains the fountains. The walk-way around the pool is really quite impressive as well. And, yes, there are speakers all the way around it :-)

Walking through the casino was quite amazing. I don't think I ever saw the actual casino floor, but the shopping, etc. was quite expensive. Made Cherry Creek Mall look like a joke.
Sorry the picture is so small. You can see the inlaid floor designs and glass ceilings, though :-)

Here's a sample of part of the hotel lobby:

There was also a large indoor garden:
(Looked much more impressive in real life. It even had theme music :-) And, yes, there were kids running away, screaming from the giant emperor.

The whole place was way over the top. It was definitely the "rich-man's" casino, and I saw tons of really-expensive looking people. The stores looked way, way more expensive than anything I've seen at Cherry Creek.

Anyway, it was a fun day. I also saw Paris with its Eiffel Tower:
The Venetian with its canals:
Treasure Island with their pirate ship:

and The Mirage with their cool, weird stuff. (Looked cooler inside, but I couldn't find any good pictures.)
They were all quite impressive, but I kind of liked the Bellagio the best. Like usual, it would have been a whole lot more fun if I had been there with someone. It's amazing how tired you can get of being by yourself.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lunch

Well, I have nothing to do over lunch today, so I guess I'll write a blog post. (yippee. i am so excited. can't you tell.)

I used to have interesting things to do over lunch like write emails, but, well, guess all good things come to an end. :-)

I found out I'm working with the electricians, starting Monday. I'm excited for the fact that I actually get to do something instead of sit around watching or updating drawings, but being "underwater" all day is going to be an adjustment.

When we get to work, we'll ride the 400' dam elevator to the powerhouse and then take the powerhouse elevator to floor 2. Floor 2 is below the down-stream river elevation.

Who knows! Maybe I'll get to rotate to a submarine next!

Oh, and thanks for the cookies, Beck. They're still really good :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hola, señoras y señores. No puedo creer que te vi. :-)

Some day, I'm going to run out of burritos... I know I will... or, so I hope.

You wanna know what sunset looks like?

I'm guessing since it was a little gusty, today's weather was bad.

I really enjoyed my drive home from work today. My co-worker is sick, so I drove myself. Instead of sitting in a dumb little Pontiac (rental car), I got to wind my way up from the dam with the windows down and sunroof open. (My coworker is more of a close-the-windows-turn-up-the-heat-until-roasted kind of guy, and I'm more of an open-the-windows-all-the-way, open-the-sunroof, and-hang-out-like-a-dog guy.) Not only that, the recent rain has made the area really quite... um... how do you put it? Uh... "Pleasing to the eye." Yeah, that's it.

I suspect all the toads, frogs, and bugs are out gallivanting before the long months of dry desert heat set in.

Great to see you all! Even though I can't! Uh... HAVE A GREAT TIME! (I'm happy! I'm better! There was rain! I drove to work by myself!) (And, yeah, I'm glad he usually does so I don't have to pay for gas or anything, but it was fun to be independent today.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

UFO!

I noticed a strange object on my bed:


Upon closer examination, I found it to be a 79 cent burrito!


Oh, what an Unusual Food Opportunity this was! (groan)

Oh, the joys of frozen food when one is sick! Steve recommended walking next door to Del Taco. It may be a cheap restaurant (See? I know how to spell it! You're like, "Yes, Ben... I think I get the idea..."), but how many burritos can you get from them for 79 cents? NONE! Ok, ok... so the extra 30 cents may make a whole lot of difference with regards to taste and content, but... yes, you got it. I'm lazy.

How many people read that and actually had a clue what I was talking about without re-reading the post?

*beep* *beep* *beep* *beep*

Ahh, the joys of hotel life!

Some nights, it sounds like an animal research facility. Other nights, it sounds like a giggly-girls-only high school. Sometimes, it sounds like a TV showroom, but lately, it has been sounding like a bad neighbourhood.

A volcano seems to have taken refuge in the room above me. It sometimes spews obscene language at great volume for all to hear. (I can hear it pretty clearly through the floor :-) It usually ends with a door slam and a stomp across the floor.

Guess this guy never stopped having temper-tantrums. :-)

FUN!

Man, it's so nice outside right now. Driving to the store today with the windows down and sunroof open made me want to go off-roading really bad... And I found the perfect place!

http://www.sunbuggyfunrentals.com/

Too bad it's $300 for 90 minutes of driving. :'(

I guess there are tons of place I could bring my 4runner, but there's no one to go with me :'(

I know, poor me. :-)

Oh, and BTW, we're having "gross weather" right now -- there are a couple clouds in the sky.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Icky" Weather?

Above: Today's "bad" weather in the Las Vegas area.

Someone told me we were going to have some gross weather last week. I was kind of excited. Every day out here basically looks identical. I kept waiting for the bad weather, but it never came. On Friday, I heard a different person say something like "No, I didn't do that because we've been having such bad weather."

I thought to myself, "You've got to be kidding me."

I guess to the locals, having more than one wisp of cloud in the sky, having temperatures below 70, having "rain," or having gusts of wind every once in a while makes it "bad weather."

Last week was partly cloudy. It even sprinkled a little. When it sprinkles, umbrellas come out even when there's not enough water to discolor your shirt.

Judging from the rumors I've heard about summer, I'd say this is GREAT weather! (I've heard it's rare that nights cool below 100 in the summer.)

The calendar, my friend, is depressing.

Thursday, seven months ago, was July 26th.

Monday, ten months ago, was May 2nd.

Can you guess what's coming? You got it!

Sunday, two months from now is May Day!

(Man, was that dumb or what?) Why do I calculate time anymore? It's just depressing. Now, out of the goodness of my heart, I spread my depressing thoughts to you all! ...er... assuming you find the thoughts depressing :-)

I'm guessing the above was the product of the 79 cent burrito I just ate. It may have tasted like 79 cents, but, man, it was good.

I've gotta start trying to figure out what to do for May Day this year. My brothers have been building some stuff for me while I've been gone, so that will help a lot, but I haven't even thought about some of the stuff yet.

Before you all put me in a mental asylum, it is the once-a-year opportunity for my hobbies to actually do something :-)

Maybe this year my robot will actually work! (I think I've been saying that for 10 years :-) In theory, I can drive it from a mile away using the video link, but in reality, something always dies before it makes it a mile. Well, I finally completely upgraded the drive system, so maybe it will perform better this year. :-) (Ha!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mwaaa, Haaa, Haa, Ha!

video

Yes, I'm evil.

Today! AND YESTERDAY! YAHOO!


Guess what I learned today?

It was soul-warming
It was life-changing
It was AMAZING!

First, I learned that God wants me to be rich, healthy, and not have any unpleasant circumstances in my life.

Second, I learned that by ordering a free "Red Prayer Handkerchief," I would be connected to Kerney Thomas and have all my hardships come to an end!

Third, I would donate money and then Kerney Thomas would "prophecy" to tell me what my problems were.

Last, he'd pray for me and make Satan let go of my body if I were sick or make him let go of my millions God wants me to have.

Yes, it was very touching. What else do you watch at 3:45 in the morning? It's either that, weather, cartoons that a 2-year-old would be bored with, or a weird TV show showing you all sorts of ways to die. (All I can say is there are a whole lot of dumb people out there.)

Yup, you guessed it. No church for Ben. The evil influences of Sin City have already taken hold on me.

Ok, so I was sick. I spent all day Friday wishing I hadn't gone to work. I had a feeling it was gunna be bad because I was achy and extremely restless all day. That night was one of those "longest nights of my life" experience. I don't seem to ever remember having had a real fever before, so it was kind of different... The achy stuff was miserable, but the showers every 15 minutes helped a bit. Oh, and last night, I sweat so much that every hour or so I'd wake up to dry off, my clothes would be so wet that is was as if I had gotten out of the shower and put my clothes on without drying off. Pretty cool, hu? (It's more like "cold" when you're covered in sweat, head to foot.) All I can say is they have some interesting germs floating around down here. I finally feel well enough to sit ...er... 2 feet from my bed at my computer. I'm so happy! Perfect excuse to waste time and be lazy!

Let me guess... I've lost about 75% of my readers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What have I done to thee, thou foul fiend?

I was going to take a peekture of the “guest laundry” room tonight, but when I turned on the camera, it protested, claiming it needed a recharge. My "friendly reasoning" were futile attempts and accomplished nothing.

The dryer in the laundry room seems to hate me. How do you dry a load containing jeans, cotton shirts, etc. without problems? I don’t feel like paying an additional $1.25, so I get damp and pre-shrunk clothes. Whoo, hoo. I need one of those manikin things for stretching out my clothes with the knobs to adjust body size. You know, those things you got in trouble for playing with at the fabric store when you were little.

Eh, I didn’t mind going to the fabric store… well, at least I didn’t mind it until I got tired of looking at the cool color of green uh… Sofro? made their chairs (I was obsessed with green when I was little.) and you reached the end of the costume section of the pattern books. After that, I’d go downhill and would get in trouble for anything I could think to do that was exciting:

Messing with the store safe at Hancock Fabrics (pronounced “hand-cox” if you’re a kid)
Pretending the spring-loaded thread racks were tracks and your hand was a train.
Climbing in the shelves that hold foam sheets.
Crawling around underneath the fabric bolt racks
Unrolling the wide fabric that comes on rolls
Playing with the rollers on the “dangerous machine” that cuts rolled fabric
Wrapping yourself up in loose fabric hanging from bolts
Staring at the red and blue colored paper that you use with the spiky roller thingy and thinking how cool the sheets look before you disobeyed your mom and ran the spiky roller thingy all over them.
Sucking on hand rails. (They taste so cool...)
Seeing how long you can pretend you didn’t hear your mom when she told you to stop messing

I honestly don’t know how my mom put up with me...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Rides

One of the big Casinos down town (The Stratosphere) has three rides on top of it. The first weekend I was down here, I decided to go try them out. I couldn't quite swallow $8/ride, so I only got tickets for two of the three rides. I rode "Big Shot" and then asked an operator which of the two other rides was more intense. He said, "Well... Um... You only have one ticket? How about you ride both of them." I was like, "SWEET!" So, I rode all three for the price of two.

First, the Big Shot:

"Shoots passengers straight up 160 feet at 45 mph (over 4 Gs) until they are 1,081 feet above the Strip." It's basically a "Tower of Doom" with an accelerated lift. It was fun, but I'm not paying $8 to ride it again.

X-Scream:

"A giant teeter-totter that propels you 27 feet over the edge of the Tower, 866 feet above the ground." This ride was really kind of boring. If you were scared of heights, that might be one thing, but sitting in a comfortable seat with a harness really isn't that scary... Even if you are 862' above the ground. When I went, I was the only one riding and a group of 30 or so people watched me. Someone yelled, "Put your hands up," so I did, and I heard someone else say something about me being insane. If I wasn't in a harness, I would have been terrified because, unlike some people I know, I am scared of being able to fall off.

Insanity:

Another boring ride. It was more scary than X-Scream, but it was rather boring, and only made me dizzy.

POP!

Yeah, it was one of those days. I stayed up too late. Call of Duty World at War with my super duper cool sound card is totally dude-awesomeness! Fortunately, I had 16.9oz (well, at least they don't call it 20oz like they would at Fivebucks :-) of pop, but it wasn't enough. Fortunately, I didn't have to work on AutoCAD drawings today, so I didn't have to fight sleep. I think I need a caffeine IV... either that or I need to go to bed on time tonight... CAFFEINE IV! That was a no-brainer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday

Well, Monday wasn't very interesting. I drove around looking for stuff to do and there wasn't anything to do, so I went back home.

I heard there was some humongous shopping mall, but I couldn't find it. Turns out it was across the street from where I was, but I didn't see it because it was on the other side of a casino. (The only thing you see more than casinos around here is wedding chapels. Seriously, there's got to be on one every block.)

I can't wait to go to Elitches this year. I talked my sisters into getting season passes, so they'll all be able to go, too. Plus, we got a free season parking pass, so, minus gas, it really will be "free to go."

I've ridden a lot of cool rides, but I'm kind of missing Elitches. So many fond memories... AGH! GACK! KKkkclllmpt! Am I becoming sentimental?

*shakes in corner muttering, "I am not afraid" over and over*

May Day was so long ago... That only means one thing! The next May Day is fast approaching! Yah! and Wah!

Oh, I'm giving a tour of Hoover Dam to the DO (Director of Operations) of Nellis Air Force Base this Saturday. Sounds impressive, doesn't it. :-) (He's the one who's house I had lunch at on Sunday.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday

Just in case any of you are interested in what I did today, here it is:

First off, I went to church. (Well, Duh!) In Sunday school, they’re still studying the chapter on sanctification in the Baptist Confession. I missed the first part of this two-part point, but I will try to communicate the general idea as best I can remember. It’s really hard because the format of Sunday school is a very interactive discussion, and I have no notes this week.

The thesis of this section was: At all costs, avoid Legalism, and at all costs, avoid Antinomianism. They are both death.

The pastor’s basic explanation of Legalism was as follows: Legalism is practiced when we take the “gray areas” of scripture, that is, areas that are not clearly defined in scripture, develop our own set of moral standards, and force them on other people or judge other people based on our own developed set of moral standards. He used examples such as what types of music we should listen to, how we should dress, whether or not we should go to a movie theater, etc. Developing our own moral standards and using them as a basis for how we judge other people is the exercise of Legalism and is death. I think he briefly touched on the other aspects of Legalism such as making our moral standards our religion and commonality instead of Christ, but I can’t remember all the details. (I.E. our music, dress, not drinking, not going to the movies, even home schooling, big families, and doctrine can become our religion and commonality instead of Chirst.)

Next, he discussed the opposite extreme of Antinomianism, often described as “lawlessness.” This position states the law’s purpose is to bring people to Christ, but once they are in Christ, they can exercise their freedom and disregard the law since they now abide under grace. Christ’s death abolished the law.

In reaching a resolution between these two extremes, he used St. Augustine's quote: “Love God and do as you please.” He pointed out the strength of the argument in the fact that true love will always and can only produce true works, but at the same time, he pointed out a problem with the quote: you. It may be true that true love will always produce true fruit, but we are still human and are not yet fully sanctified… Huh… Not quite sure how that tied into the conclusion (I don’t have any notes), but he basically came to the conclusion of Christ came to fulfill, not to abolish the law. In categories such as the sacrificial system, Christ is the fulfillment – the pinnacle the law pointed to. We are no longer set aside by externals, such as physical circumcision and dietary laws, but are now circumcised and set apart in our heart. We are now under the law of love which will always produce true works.

Huh… None of that seems very connected. Well, if nothing else, you can probably see the general ideas :-)

He also touched on exercising our freedom in Christ but not offending our weaker brothers who still hold to dietary laws, for example.

Oh, here’s a random topic that came up last time: If you believe the temple must be rebuilt and the sacrificial system reinstated, then doesn’t that mean that Christ’s death was either in vain or not sufficient?

After Sunday school, we studied the "Mercy" beatitude in church. He put a strong emphasis on, “these are the characteristics that will come out of true life.”

After church, a really nice family behind me invited me to their house for lunch. Uh, erk? Oh…

I’m really not used to having to interact as my own, separate entity. There’re no parents to do the talking, no siblings to hide behind.

As it turns out, the guy who invited me to lunch was in the Air Force. His work has brought him to live in all sorts of places – even Germany. I believe his last assignment was at the Pentagon, and he had just moved to Vegas last spring. His wife was really nice, and their two home-schooled kids, ages 3 and 5 were quite the characters. The oldest son spent a great deal of time showing me his box of airplanes. I think that kid is extremely bright. I was, frankly, astounded by his level of communication and understanding. After identifying which plane he took out of the box (This is an F-22 Raptor. I have two of them.), he would list notable features on certain planes. I, and the other lunch guests (two predator pilots and a wife) were in hysterics.

Air Force guys really seem to be a different breed. They were extremely polite and respectful. They had manners I’ve never seen people observe. They seemed like very wise and steady people. The wives seem to be able to live just about anywhere and seem to develop a really close community among each other wherever they’re stationed. They seem really proud of their husbands, share their husbands’ enthusiasm for aircraft, and after several years of marriage, act just as thrilled with their husbands as the day they married them. Maybe it was just the people I saw today. Who knows. (There, was that heart-warming? :-)

Fun was had by one and all, and I didn’t get back to my hotel room until 5:30.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh, yeah...

It's valentines day, isn't it. (And yes, it still is since I'm in the Pacific time zone.)

Um... Let's see what I can come up with...

OH! I think most girls like Valentine's Day for some reason. I've seen more than a few girls in the grocery store staring at Valentine's day junk with a longing expression... Not sure if it was the chocolate or the idea.

Um... what else have I heard about it... Oh, I heard someone say it started in Roman times.

Who cares!

Let's talk about something more worthwhile... like me! I had to ask someone what the date was today, and they kind of chuckled. Yes, it was "Ben feels like an idiot" time once again!

Fun!

Just so you know, I think there are some odd spelling mistakes here, but I can't seem to find them right now :-)

Vegas and I don't seem to go together very well... Every time I try to go down there to see the sights, I end up walking miles, seeing nothing but old ladies playing the slots, and getting back exhausted. I think I might have to bring a map down there some day.

This morning, I decided to see the local sights, not the tourist sights. Man, I had a blast.

I heard someone at the dam say something about some chocolate factory with tours, so I decided I had to visit. (Why? It's a factory!) I looked around on the Internet and found that it is the Ethel's chocolate factory and includes a "Botanical Cactus Garden." Cactus? Whoo, hoo.

As it turns out, the Mars family started a lot of the big-name candy companies like M&M, Hershey's, Ethel's, etc. They're all still owned by the Mars company.

I entered the destination into my GPS, drove 15 minutes, and decided I needed to write a blog post tonight. As it turns out, the "Botanical Cactus Garden" is really amazing. Yeah, I know. I should have been bored with it, but frankly, I wasn't. The pictures you should see if you click below don't look all that interesting, so you'll just have to take my word for it: "It was cool." I think we should turn our front yard into a "Botanical Cactus Garden," but I doubt that would work in Colorado. :-)

Today


The self-guided tour was ok. Of course it was Saturday so nothing was happening, so I got to read "fun facts and quotes" instead. MEH! I learned that in yet another area, I'm "one out of ten." I don't really like chocolate all that much. It's ok, and I like it fine, but it's not all that exceptional in my opinion. I also learned that Charles Schultz said something to the effect of every time someone mentioned exercise, he washed his mouth out with chocolate.

After taking the self-guided tour, I headed back to my hotel while making a detour to my local friendly UPS store run by a nice man and his wife. They know my by name and remember who I send stuff to.

After that, I headed up to my room to check on Buffalo Bill's Casino. I had seen a pretty amazing-looking roller coaster on the way out to California for the NAAM convention, so I decided to drive out there today. Believe it or not, the 45 minute drive and the $30 price tag was worth it.

Upon arrival, I thought the place looked kinda cool. The "family friendly" casino looks very much like Casa Bonita but is themed in the old west style. True, there still were mean ol' grannys puffing away on their disposable peace pipes while playing the slots, but overall, the place really didn't have much smoke and was surprisingly quiet.

I arrived at lunch time, so I headed over to the food court. Instead of a big, noisy room with tons of kids running around who are in need of disciplinary action for their misdemeanors, this food court was setup like a town. Various streets had different restaurants on them. I ended up eating at Mc Donald's. Double 1/4 ponder, drink, and fries. It was pretty good except for the fact that the fries kind of reminded me of wet sponges. I used them to mop up ketchup.

After that, I headed out to the thrill rides. I ended up biting the bullet and buying an all day pass for all the rides for $30. It seemed like a lot at the time, but it turned out to be a good deal since they charge $8/ride for the roller coaster.

First up: The Desperado, a two minute and forty-five second long coaster with a two-hundred and nine foot drop at speeds up to eighty miles per hour. You will experience g-forces greater than an astronaut. (Well, so I heard over and over and over from their safety video. And, no, I am not undergoing blood coagulation therapy.) Oh, I also heard that you're not supposed to smoke on the ride. I want to see someone try to do that. :-)

I went up to the loading platform. It's really kind of weird boarding a roller coaster inside a building. The hand rails are brass, there's carpet, it's clean...

I seated myself near the rear because "it's faster." (It used to drive me nuts trying to figure out how the back goes faster than the front and yet the length remains constant.)

When the coaster starts, it immediately goes down a little dip that surprises you before the big hill. Girls release cries of whoa without fail on that little dip. (It is surprising the first time :-)

Then the chain... Oooh! A a fast and smooth chain. I love it! At this point in the coaster, you're still inside the casino. The hill comes out the roof, and you begin the long 200' climb.

The 209' plunge is pretty fun. It's incredibly steep and feels like it's straight down. What's really cool is it dips underground, so it really looks like you're going to hit the ground right up to the point you blast your way through the underground mine tunnel and immediately fly to the sky once again.

The coaster is really long and surprising. Although it's metal, it was built similar to a wooden roller coaster, so there're not flips, loops, etc. (I don't really like flips and loops that much anyway, so I was just as glad. Flips, loops, and corkscrews, in my opinion, are just visuals that make it so you can't ride too many times before you feel "done-in.")

The coaster goes all over the place. Since Buffalo Bill's Casino is set out in the middle of the desert, there's plenty of room, and the coaster makes good use of it. Towards the end, the coaster circles back to the front of the casino and enters a fake mountain. Inside the mountain, it spirals upwards and comes out again. Yes, that's right. You leave the mountain at a higher elevation than you enter it.

After that, the track takes a couple banks and enters the casino once again.

After riding that once, I realized I had seen this coaster before... in my roller coaster book! Yes, folks, it is one of the tallest and fastest roller coaster in North America, making it one of the top ten.



It seemed like there were hats and scarfs flying off of people every ride. I had to keep pulling my shirt down.

Oh, and just to make you jealous, it was warm enough to ride the coaster in short sleeves even once the stars came out :-)

There was some guy and "his girl" arguing for a solid 5 minutes about whether the front or back was more scary. They eventually agreed to go on it twice, once in the back and once in the front. I have a feeling that ended in another argument over which really was more scary. :-)

Ok, ok... So how many times did I ride this thing? There was no line. I could walk from the exit to the entrance and not miss a ride. Close to the beginning of the day, I was talking to some kids, and I asked them how many times they'd been on it. I didn't believe them when they said, "Uh... we lost track at about 75." After I lost track somewhere between 15 and 30 rides, I started to believe them. I think I road the coaster somewhere between 30 and 40 times. (I actually think it was just over 50, but I'll stay conservative. :-)

Towards the end, I started asking myself, "Why am I on here again?" I was so bruised and sore and my back had "carpet burns" all over it, but every ride was so much fun that it was really hard not to get right back in the non-existent line. No wonder I kept seeing the same people over and over and over.

There were some other rides, too. There was a log ride, similar to the one at the old Elitches, but it was also an interactive shooting game. The log ride starts in the casino, goes outside and up a hill and down for a splash and then reenters the building and goes all over the place right in the casino floor. The first time I went on it, there were a bunch of guys standing on a bridge over the canal. When I passed under it, they yelled, "TARGET ON THE RIGHT!" I turned and shot a bandit... Well... his pistol shoots water at you when you hit him. Oh, it was funny. A roar of laughter went up, and they prepared for their next victim :-)

Ugh... I am... so... sore... and... and tired. I'm off to bed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

He's Back!

video

Yes, Joe is back. Check out his 43 new blog posts here:
http://noonecaresaboutthisblog.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zoo Zing

MEH! Forget the circuit board.

I can't seem to ever get anything done around here. Too much to do.

MEH! Another bus just parked outside my window. Last time a bus was here, it was a softball team staying at my hotel... as in a busload of giggly high school girls who loved to talk and giggle all night outside my door. Eh, whatever. Even though they needed a little consideration for people's desire to sleep, I'm sure they had a blast.

I keep forgetting to talk about Hoover. (I know... what's worse than forgetting to talk about myself?) It's a tremendous tourist trap. Do you know what that means? If you work in the Nevada-side power house, you get to be stared at. All the tourists stand up there, point, and stare. I need to put a sign up on the viewing level that says, "Please do not tap on glass." Seriously, you feel like you're in a lion cage or something. There's probably 50 people in each tour group and they stand up there and stare at you. You move and they start pointing. LOOK! It's MOVING! The plant employees are used to it, and act as though there's no one there, but I'm not quite used to it yet.

What's kind of funny is leaving work. To leave the dam, you have to take the dam elevators to the top where all the tourists are. The elevators empty out into a little concrete room with locked exterior doors. When you exit through the doors, you have to be sure to check to make sure the door closed all the way because without fail, a tourist immediately says something like, "Ooh! I wonder where that goes!" and goes over to try and open the door. It's getting downright funny because I dont' know if we've ever left without tourists trying to get in. Not like they could get anywhere if they did. All the elevators and doors require a key card. (I heard one employee calling the tourists, "tourons," a cross between "tourist" and "moron.")

The security isn't quite like Grand Coulee where there're people patrolling with assault rifles, but it's still surprisingly high. They still let employees bring their family and friends on tours, though, so that's nice.

Valentine Volition

I know you’re all having a hard time trying to figure out what to give… uh… your car? for Valentine’s day. (*cough* thanks for reminding me that there's such a holiday, my local grocery store!)

You have nothing more to fear! Kohls is selling some of the most wonderful doghouse bait in the world!
http://www.kohls.com:80/kohlsStore/kitchendining/tablelinenskitchentextiles/seasonal/valentinesday.jsp?bmForm=guided_nav_search&SubcatFolderID=2534374754464486

Yes, that’s right! Buy your special someone… er… or something… some special towels as a way of saying, “I love you so much that I think your only purpose is to stay in the kitchen all day!”

Previous Post Puzzle Peeled





Seems that no one figured out what my last post was talking about, so they started looking for hidden meanings. Guess I can’t blame them. It was like so totally random!

I crash about once a week, usually on Wednesday night. That means I get to spend the whole night doing nothing! Yea me! Part of doing nothing involves watching the Disney Channel! Doubly Yea me! It’s kind of cool to sit and play the mindless game of analyzing underlying philosophies. Here are a couple things I’ve learned:

Success is about having friends.

Girls, on the surface, are petty, conniving devils, but they mean well.

Guys are required to like girls, for some unknown reason, and must have a girlfriend. To get a girlfriend, you walk up to a girl and ask her to be his girlfriend. End of story.

Guys are unintelligent but good-natured.

It’s best to obey your parents. Disobeying always lands you in hot water, but in the end you get what you want and everything always works out.

Growing up is about making your parents understand. Parents just spring out of nowhere and never had to grow up, so it’s up to the kids to help them understand what growing up is all about.

Cheerleaders are stupid and everyone hates them.

Popular people’s “friends” don’t like them.

Ok, ok, so I’m exaggerating. Believe it or not, I was kind of surprised by how conservative the Disney channel is (well, compared to the rest of Hollywood), but it was still interesting to study a force that’s shaping our culture. Ok, ok… So I watched TV. Not only that, I enjoyed it. Therefore, it wasn’t educational. (J/K)

Phineas and Ferh is probably the “show” I enjoyed the most. It’s a stupid cartoon that reminds me of Rocky and Bullwinkle. (Didn’t say I’d like it if I had enough sleep.)

From a philosophy standpoint, and from the very few episodes I’ve seen, I think Hanna Montana is probably the best show on there… Basically, it’s a modern version of the Beverly Hillbillies. And, no, this doesn’t mean you can buy me Hanna Montana junk.

Whelp… That was fascinating, wasn’t it? Hopefully my next post is even more riveting!

Oh, and as far as the last post, it was a conglomeration of speech styles from the Disney channel and meant nothing.
For now, I got to go. I have at least one circuit board to design and May Day is fast approaching. (BTW, the reason I’m always preparing for May Day and never have anything to show for it is very few of projects get finished. The things that do get finished usually break right away. Good learning experience.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bitterness becometh thee, thou blithering, beloathed Bennifer!

Ok, so my mind is a muddled murk of miry muck. So what.

Yeah, so I'm like totally writing a blog post about how much I so hate having a blog.

Say, whawt?

Like so totally!

And now, the so totally hillbilly squeaky toy walks off stage.

Get it?

Didn't think so.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oh, it's so nice to be home...

for the weekend :-)

I get to come home about every 28 days for a weekend, and this is one of those weekends, and it's like... like... totally dude-awesomeness galore!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Bit About Myself

In case any of you are wondering what my day-to-day work life is like, here’s a brief summary:

I get up at 5:30. I set between two and three alarms as I seem to have an uncanny attraction for alarm clock malfunctions :-)

If I were in a cartoon strip, in the morning, I’d be a fat gorilla, and scratch my stomach while bubbles came out of my mouth… Yeah, I’m not really a morning person.

I slog downstairs and hop in the car where my coworker is always waiting. I’m on time every day, but he always seems to get there first, even if it’s only by a few seconds.

I now LOVE Country music. After listening to my co-worker's techno... something music... Country would be a really nice break. I don't care for rhythm machines... especially when accompanied by a college-age black guy who can sing two notes -- high and low.

Once we get to the dam, we park in one of the two employee parking lots. The border of Arizona and Nevada goes right down the center of the dam, so the parking lots are referred to as the Nevada and Arizona parking lots.

Once parked, we trudge over to one of the dam elevators. The top of the dam is part of a highway. There are a couple “concrete boxes” sitting on top of the dam. Well, if you scan your ID card and open the brass doors, you find an elevator.

We hop in the elevator and stand there for a couple minutes, yawning to pop our ears every few minutes. Meanwhile, the employees we’re riding with (they’ll wait a few minutes before leaving since it’s such a long elevator ride) usually comment how they’re complaining about the cold and we show up with our short sleeve shirts.

After the ride, we get out of the elevator, pretty close to the base of the dam. At that point, we head up to our offices, located in about the center of the dam, close to the bottom. If you’re lucky, you get an office with an outside wall and a window. (There are some windows in the dam that aren’t really visible from the top.)

So far, we’ve mainly updated AutoCAD drawings. (I.E. changing wire labels on drawings :-) I think we’re about done with that, fortunately. Both of us have about gone insane…

After 8 hours slowly roll by, we head back to the elevator, and do the whole thing in reverse. The only difference is it’s hard to see while driving as the sun gets so low. (The mountains (a.k.a. piles of rocks and dirt) are pretty low around here :-)

I get back to my hotel room all excited. I figure out what to make for dinner and then usually go to the next-door grocery store. I’m getting better about buying for more than one night, though :-)

I then make dinner along with lunch and breakfast for the next day.
After eating, I catch up on email and my blog, and usually talk to my family for an hour or so. After that, it’s either bed time or time for entertainment. For the first time in about 1.5 years, I’ve been able to really enjoy a computer game, so I’m lovin’ it! Speaking of which, I don’t have much time till bed, so I’d better post this so I can play at least a little before I have to go to bed :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

OOOH! GOOD!

The Great Googly Moogly has once again written some excellent material... His writing level and communication skills are really impressive. If only I could write this well...

Anyway, I really thought this excerpt was fabulous, so I hope he doesn't mind if I put it here:

"My goal is simply to give a general overview in order to help us better understand what has happened to us in Christ. I want us to begin to comprehend the transformation that has taken place in us with the coming of Christ so that we live into the freedom that is our inheritance as “sons of God”. If our mentality as Christians is that our “obedience” is something that we must now do in order to be pleasing to God (or as some would have it, in order to stay in relationship with God) rather than something that we must be (which is the work of the Spirit in us), then I’m afraid that we’ve simply renamed and redesigned the same yoke of the Pharisees that Jesus has freed us from.

Why do we insist on putting the yoke of the Pharisees on again? Because we still don’t fully believe the Gospel. Oh, we believe enough of it to be “saved”, but we effectively deny its power when we separate sanctification from the Gospel, when we live as though our sanctification is a work that we must do. Like the Pharisees, we simply refuse to listen to Moses (and the Law, the Prophets and the Writings) and believe! We don’t believe God, so we put the “yoke” of performance back on our shoulders and we trudge around day after day with our never-ending and never-completed checklists hoping against hope that we’ve done enough to please our Father today. Is this how Christ lived His life? Is this the life of Christ in us? Is this the “freedom” that has been granted to us in Christ?"

Make sure to read the full post at http://shalomistheword.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-are-we-to-live-part-2-fall.html

Catnip


FOOD!

Yeah, that's right. I was lazy tonight. I bought pre-cooked BBQ bird (they were out of BBQ beast), put it on hamburger buns, added some "microwave fries" (bad deal and probably seasoned with MSG, but they were really good :-), a pear, and some juice. Ahhh... It was so good. Not only that, I have left-overs for... probably three nights. *sigh*

Oh, BTW, I ate a new type of pear tonight... It's a cross between a green pear and a carrot. I'm going to have to buy pears a couple days before I eat them... I wonder if I could stare at a pear for a couple days and not eat it? Hey, that's about the only advantage to living by yourself! Pears are cheaper than tomatoes!

Yesterday in the grocery store, I decided I absolutely had to have some Pepsi. After being without it for so long, I figured one "soda" wasn't going to hurt, so I was dumb and bought a 20oz bottle. I got to the car, opened it up, and took a big gulp. Ahhhhhh! So refreshing! I started closing it back up, and to my horror, I discovered I had bought DIET PEPSI! I was kinda mad at myself, but I figured one diet Pepsi wasn't going to kill me. Moderation, right? I started drinking some more and quickly became victim to my imagination... I started visualising the carcinogenic substance sliding down my esophagus and upsetting my metabolism, causing me to gain weight... (Diet soda supposedly has a strong link to weight gain. Here's a fairly good summary if you're interested: One, Two "...even though diet soda pop has no calories, it still makes us obese and more prone to diabetes.") Of course, once you start thinking about stuff like that, the Pepsi starts to taste bad. It's like feeling weird from being next to a microwave oven while thinking about how the microwaves are exciting the dipolar molecules in your body or how slippery soap feels because it's dissolving the plasma membrane of your skin cells... Anyway... Yeah. No more pop. I *cough* threw it away. I figured I wasn't enjoying it, and I really didn't need it anyway, so why bother to drink the last of my liquid money.

MEH! Ignorance is bliss!

Isn't it cool how money can transform into all sorts of different shapes? You can drink it, eat it, ride in it, fly it, the possibilities are endless! Oh, not only that, if you're in Vegas, you can bring it down to a Casino and it will unlock buttons for you to push! YAHOO!

(Yeah, I don't want to write anything interesting because I'm in the mood to be weird. I wish I could jump around in the hotel room.)